Appropriate Responses to Emotions in the Workplace
Managing negative emotional behaviors of others is a subtle, yet powerful leadership skill. While you may not call upon this skill frequently, it is important to know what to do when a team member's emotions are unreasonable or unprofessional. The I-Statement Model can be easily adopted to verbalize your observations about another person's behavior in a way that is clear, direct, non-judgmental and informational. This strategy eliminates the word "you" from feedback messages, and directs the focus toward behavior, rather than the individual.
The next time you are faced with a negative emotional reaction from a member of your team, try these 3 tips to diffuse the situation and create a learning opportunity:
- Describe the behavior: Explain the specific instance in which the behavior occurred.
- Take ownership of feelings or impact: Describe your reaction to the behavior or the business impact and provide the reason(s) for your feeling.
- Identify the desired change or outcome: "And what I want to see is..."